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  • Problem with the voice after joining a band (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Beckie Tunnicliffe on October 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve got a question for all of the vocal tutors regarding my voice…I’ve recently joined a band after 4 years of performing as a soloist to backing tracks, and I have found in the rehearsals that even after a good 20 minute or so warmup, my voice is giving out and I am really struggling to hit certain high notes in my chest voice. I’m aware I’m probably being a bit shouty because of how loud it is and next time I’m going to try and reign it in a bit!

    A song I am particularly concerned about is Decode by Paramore, there are lots of high notes that you have to keep in chest voice and I’m really struggling! 4 years ago I was perfectly fine singing this song with a band! Has anyone experienced a reduction in their vocal range as they get older, I’m in the later half of my 20’s (I know this is a natural thing and I’m hoping this isn’t the case for me)

    I also think that my voice isn’t used to singing with a live band, seeing as all I have done for 4 years is sing either to backing tracks or a piano?

    Obviously I know that this isn’t regarding anything to do with teaching but any information would help me in the future should any students of mine come across a similar sort of problem!

    Guest Teacher replied 6 years, 8 months ago 4 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    That shoutiness you’re feeling is called the Lombard Effect – a natural lift in volume that we get from being in loud environments. It’s very hard to control and rein in.

    It sounds like you’re getting some light wear and tear on your vocal folds from being in those loud rooms. It certainly happened to me when I was in a band in uni. In your late twenties, your voice should be at its peak, instead of declining. Vocal decline happens when the cartilage begins to ossify, and that’s not until your late fifties (though this varies a lot, depending on use).

    I’d recommend seeing if you can fight against the urge to get louder by singing in a very small, compact way in rehearsals. Though it’s great fun to give it your all, your voice won’t thank you for it, and you’re more likely to develop a sustainable technique by practicing in a quiet environment.

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve not heard of that, I will definitely research into it!

    I did try out near the end of the rehearsal as you say a ‘small compact way’ and I do think it helped, I will try and do that more in the future🙂 (Or I’ll tell the guitarists to turn down haha)

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    I was just thinking, “I bet it’s a response to being in a loud rehearsal room” then I read Matt’s comment lol. I struggle working with a big band mix too. What is your foldback like? If you don’t have any, get some, even basic foldback through a decent set of sound isolating headphones can make the world of difference to volume control.

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    At the moment all I have is the PA speaker sort of facing me. I do intend on getting some in-ear monitors it’s just being able to afford them😛

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    Beckie Oldham do you have ear plugs in, in these rehearsals? I find wearing earplugs prevents me from shouting during rehearsal time plus the obvious reason to wear them. Not only that are you sure you are warming up the right bits of your voice and not overdoing it in the warm up itself? Also to carry that on is the style of these specific songs different and would you say your style has changed singing to backing tracks? With a change of style you’ll find a change in tone preference which may also mean a change in placement and shape which ultimately could be making this specific style more difficult to go back to?🙂always free for a chat if you have any thoughts on the above x

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    I know this sounds really bad but I don’t usually wear ear plugs in because I find it really difficult to hear other members of the band and myself. Even when I’m watching gigs most of the time I only wear one ear plug so I can hear it properly.

    I’m essentially having to go backwards with my voice. I used to sing a lot of rock songs but over the past few years as I’ve only really sung pop songs and so developed my voice to fit that style more, rather than have more of a ‘kick’ in the lower end to fit with the rock style. It makes sense what you say though🙂

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I would definitely be more inclined then to say that actually you may have lost a lot of the techniques that you naturally had at a young age to reach those high notes – we have a tendency as we get old to find ‘cheat’ lazy way to get the notes we want and then when we got back to wanting to belt higher notes with some real gusto we struggle and end up getting the whole set up wrong. I would definitely say you need to get yourself either some ear plugs and deal with the struggle hearing wise or get yourself some in ear monitors or headphones plugged into the desk because honestly your hearing is so important!!! Also go back to complete basics in terms of belt set up and do lots of practicing at home. Try not to dive straight into the deep end hoping for the best because it’s deifnitely understandable that you may have lost some of those higher notes in belt if you’ve been doing more comfortable pop for a few years x

  • Beckie Tunnicliffe

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you thats a big help🙂

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    Even those of us who teach them everyday don’t always implement the practice ourselves.. I know I don’t lol – I sing in a hip hop soul band and if you told me to sing some rock tunes like I used to in the day I’m almost certain it would be fantastically crap haha!

  • Sarah Dunbar

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm
  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    After years of playing about 5years ago I got some moulded in ear monitors and now use them all the time. It’s such a worthy investment. I recommend your band going down the in ear route to save the onstage volume as you won’t need onstage monitors or at least not so many most modern mixers can accommodate. You will also not feel the need so much to overshoot your voice as you can have your mix dialled into your ears.

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    October 22, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I’m not a singer but using in ear monitors helps a lot of singers I know. Get a strong mix in your ears and it’ll be a game changer!

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